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Over the counter medicines Posted or Updated on 2 Feb 2024

In line with NHS England recommendations your GP, nurse or surgery pharmacist will no longer prescribe medicines which can be bought over-the-counter. These changes are because:

  1. We want to help you learn to treat your common illnesses at home
  2. This helps to free up your GPs’ and nurses’ time to see and treat you and others when you have more complicated illnesses
  3. It means we get the best possible value for all Southwark patients from the funding we receive.
  4. The NHS has been spending around £136 million a year on prescriptions for medicines that can be bought from a pharmacy or supermarket, such as paracetamol. By reducing the amount the NHS spends on over the counter medicines, we can give priority to treatments for people with more serious conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and mental health problems.

In the future you can visit your local pharmacy without the need to come into the surgery first. The pharmacist can give you advice on suitable treatment for common illnesses. The pharmacist will check the medicine is right for you and for your health problem and will advise you if you need to see a GP or nurse.

For more information, please see the links below:

NHS England - Prescribing of over the counter medicines is changing (EXTERNAL PDF LINK)


Call the Patient Experience Team on: 0800 328 9712


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